I’m excited about this Pelicans team. The emergence of Brandon Ingram and rookie Zion Williamson is amazing to watch. Zion has only played 19 games and it’s already determined he will be a star. However, the Pelicans are out of the playoff picture at the moment. But they’ve been given such a controversial easy schedule that it’s been pre-determined they’ll make the playoffs. Although not set in stone, the Pelicans will need to play their best ball and need the other 8th seed runners to lose to get there. We can expect their stars to play well, but to determine if the Pelicans will be in the playoffs may depend on the Pelicans X-Factor Josh Hart.
Josh Hart Stats
Josh Hart was a forgotten trade piece in the trade that landed the Lakers Anthony Davis. Of course, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo ball were the more recognizable names, Josh Hart was a sneaky good pick up for the Pelicans. As he comes off the bench, he is a valuable two-way player for the Pelicans. He averages 10.2 PPG on 41.6% shooting, 1.6 APG, and 6.5 RPG in 27 minutes. These stats aren’t the worst I’ve seen, but they could be better. Josh Hart’s role on the second squad is to space the floor and shoot the ball well. He’s been able to pace the floor but his shooting does need to improve. Hart averages about 6 3s a game, but only shoots 34.2% per game. He only attempts about 9 FGs a game, that means 66% of his shots come from 3 at a less than the effective rate.
This simply won’t do for the Pelicans. They haven’t played any games so even if their schedule is considered easy, they are still on the outside looking in. They’ll need everything they can get to get to the playoffs. If they do make the playoffs, they have a tough (but exciting) matchup with the #1 seed Lakers. While Josh Hart has been able to space the floor effectively, his shooting needs to be better for the Pelicans to have their best shot. Their stars will do what they are known to do, but they’ll need Josh Hart to fill out their role to make the playoffs and have a chance to win playoff series.